Township: Kilmoluaig

Map Reference:

Name Type:

Meaning: This name has been difficult to reconstruct. Neither ON bólstaðr ‘farm’, or ON byggsetr ‘barley peripheral farm’ (>Bixter in the Northern Isles, Berit Sandnes, pers. comm.) suit phonologically. There is a Bister on Rousay, Orkney, which Gammeltoft regards as 'somewhat enigmatic' (Gammeltoft 2001, 288). There is a Biste on Coll: 'Biste, Coll, the usual modern reflex of a simplex bólstaðr name in the Hebrides is Bosta … Therefore the safest approach is to assume that the origin is probably not ON bólstaðr and otherwise leave the interpretation open' (Gammeltoft 2001, 302).
The most compelling reconstruction is the compound name ON býr ‘farm’ + staðir ‘farm’ > Bjástad in Ski, Norway (Berit Sandnes, pers. comm.), which suits the first recorded form. A final intrusive consonant -dh is not uncommon: 'The velar fricative [?] frequently terminates otherwise open final syllables, e.g. ... Bòstadh < ON Bólstað 'the farm'' (Cox 2002, 64; Gammeltoft 2001, 92). Olistadh on Islay, also with a terminal velar fricative, derives from Óláfr + staðir (Macniven 2006, 355).
There is a Beest in Harray on the Orkney mainland (SP); there is a Bysta in Rennebu, Norway (NG); Bystad is a farm name in Norway (OR); and Bæjarstæði is a farm name in Iceland (SAM).

Other Forms: Bastawe 1509 ER xiii, 216
Bister, 1541 ER xvii, 647
Biste, 1638 RMS ix, 828
Bistie, 1654 Blaeu (Pont)
Byst, 1662 ICA NE11 no. 15
Birster, 1674 Retour vol. l no. 82 (Johnston 1991, 103)
Bist, 1674 HP vol. l, 290 (Johnston 1991, 103)
Beist, 1716 MacLean-Bristol 1998
Beist, 1768 Turnbull
Beist, 1794 Tiree Rental, Cregeen 1964, 36
Biest, 1832 Thomson's Atlas of Scotland
Bìsta, 1865, Donald Cameron in Campbell J.G 1891, 172

Related Places: See Port Bhiostadh and Cnoc Bhiostadh.


Local Form:

Languages : Unknown